Lowering the tone but telling the truth: a price for austerity

A noticeboard in Gravesend is worth sharing (click to enlarge):

Meanwhile after four or five days of long periods of driving I have become far too closely acquainted with the condition of our road system. Inadequate would be a summary – both in capacity and surface. Outside the motorways and dual carriageways the incidence of potholes is remarkable and often they are unavoidable because you cannot spot them as you come round the bend or the lorry coming the other way makes avoiding action impossible, or sometimes just because it is dark.

And so it came to pass that doing the mandatory 30 mph or so, I heard a loud bang and seemed to lose steering control. On stopping I saw that I’d had a blowout – but there was no sign of any obvious cause.  When I tried to remove the tyre I couldn’t – because it seemed to have something wedged in it. When breakdown help arrived we were able to establish that a front coil spring had sheared and in breaking had plunged itself into the sidewall of the front tyre. Freak accident or what? Oh no, said the breakdown man, it’s quite common these days – since they stopped repairing the roads.

So £330 and six hours later I resumed my journey. My individual price of austerity was timewasting and painful but of course much less than for many others. Still, surely this sort of thing happens to Conservatives too? Or are they unable to link cause and effect? Perhaps they just smile serenely and think that they are enduring the inconveniences for the good of the country? I wish I knew.


  1. Sean Danaher -

    Liked the noticeboard gave me a smile!
    The roads are a disgrace. I got a puncture myself not so long ago – a ripped side-wall on the tyre caused by the kerb stones breaking away at a junction. There was no spare tire only a kit which was useless. The AA man eventually arrived and I had to get a new tyre – only a few hours and about £85 so not as bad as yours. The AA man suggested I tried to sue the council but I didn’t peruse it as I know how cash strapped they are.
    A few years ago the roads were rated worse than Puerto Rico or Namibia:

    My local experience is that they are getting worse rather than better. The major arteries which are funded at a national level are fine. The minor roads funded by the local councils are deteriorating rapidly.

    1. Jeni Parsons aka havantaclu -

      And even when repairs are done, they are often so sub-standard that the potholes re-emerge within weeks!

  2. Richard Murphy -

    Bizarrely, I suffered that failure about 18 months ago

    And also at lowish speed, thankfully

    And now I know the failure is systemic I am annoyed

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